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Meet our PGA Professional of the Year – Doug Nelson

November 11, 2013

Get to know our Minnesota PGA Award Winners

Each month, we’re putting a much-deserved spotlight on our Minnesota PGA Section Award Winners.

Our profile this month is:  Doug Nelson, 2013 PGA Golf Professional of the Year

The PGA Golf Professional of the Year is awarded to the golf professional whose overall performance as a golf professional, leader, service and promotion of the game of golf, and their facility has been outstanding.

Doug Nelson PGA Professional of the Year

Doug Nelson
PGA Professional of the Year

This year’s recipient is Doug Nelson, PGA Professional at the Minikahda Club since 1996.  A 36-year member in the PGA, Doug has been always been instrumental in all facets of the golf operations at the Minikahda Club.  From cleaning clubs, to picking the range, to starting on the first tee, Doug has done it all at the Minikahda Club and always treats the members with the same respect, whether they play one round or 100 rounds annually.  Doug has also been instrumental in preparing his Assistant professionals for Head professional positions and as one of his assistants stated ”he is by far one of the best teachers of the business of golf”.

A winner of the Section’s 2004 Facility Promoter of the Year Award and 2008 Horton Smith Award, Doug also served on the Section Board of Directors for several years and during that time chaired the Section’s education committee.  Doug and his facility continue to be actively involved in hosting Section, and MGA events as well as the USGA Curtis Cup in 1998.

What year did you become a PGA Professional?

I became a PGA Member in 1978.

What was your motivation?

I enjoyed managing the Golf Shop at Breezy Point Resort during the summers while attending St. Cloud University.  After graduation, I decided to become a PGA Apprentice and went to work for Jon Konz in Rapid City, SD…..and I was hooked!

How do you believe you are growing the game of golf?

I have always been motivated to get more beginners having fun with golf.  It is such a tough game but once you get them on the course and they see the beauty out there, they want to come back.  I think the recent Tee It Forward campaign will help as well.

What is your greatest moment in golf?

Playing with former President Gerald Ford and Gene Sarazan at the Vail Golf Club.  It was just a great experience and one that I will never forget.

Who has had the greatest impact on your career?

Steve Satterstrom, a fellow PGA Member who I grew up with in North Branch, MN.  I eventually worked with him at the Denver Country Club and at the Vail Golf Club.  He helped me get my first Head Professional position at Singletree Golf Club in 1981.

When you are not golfing, how do you like to spend your day?

Spending time with my wife Jenny, my family, traveling, reading and most things outdoors.  I look forward to having some time to spend with grandchildren as well.

If you could play any course in the world, which one and who would you play with?

If I could go back in time I would want to play the North Branch Golf Club with my Mom (who taught me), my Dad, and my brother.  The course doesn’t matter as much as the players but what a great place to develop a love for the game.

Congratulations Doug on this outstanding award and accomplishment!

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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